Norfolk State football had a huge signing day class on Feb. 1, and a pair of prospects from Greensboro Dudley were two of the biggest.
Running back R.J. Baker and offensive lineman Malcolm Kennion both had offers from Power Five programs, but elected to join Norfolk State.
The 6-foot-3, 310-pound Kennion had offers from North Carolina State as well as Coastal Carolina, North Carolina Central and others, but he ultimately decided to play for NSU.
“It seemed like an amazing opportunity for me to express myself and be who I am and show my ability among my people,” Kennion told Greensboro.com.
Kennion played center for Dudley, but he’s open to any way that the Spartans could use him.
“I will play anything over there,” he said. “I’ll player center, guard, tackle, wherever they need me. I’ll even go to fullback.”
Baker offers a lot of versatility as well. He played primarily at running back as he once rushed for nearly 300 yards and six touchdowns in a single game. He had over 3,900 career all-purpose yards.
NSU signed 38 players during the Feb. 1 signing day period as the program continues to be re-made under Dawson Odums, who was hired in May 2021. The program saw a mass exodus following a 2-9 season.
What Kennion and Baker have going for them, besides their individual talent, is a winning background. Both played on the 2021 Greensboro Dudley team that went 15-1 and won a state title and helped the program to a 9-3 record and another playoff appearance in 2022.